In a Daily Beast article this week, Emilie Plesset reveals that Indiana is removing voters from the lists without telling them, thanks to a new law that violates the National Voter Registration Act (aka the Motor Voter Act.)
Back in 2014, Indiana, under then-governor Mike Pence, adopted Crosscheck, the system put into place by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to search for voters who may be registered to vote in more than one state. Kobach, whose efforts to snuff out “voter fraud” have made Kansas one of the hardest states in which to vote (and led to this harrowing New York Times profile last month), now sits on the President’s Voter Fraud Panel with Pence.
Under the original rules, when a name came up that appeared to be double-registered in Crosscheck, that person merely had to be notified and warned that if they didn’t fix it, they could be removed from the rolls. The new law, according to The Daily Beast, “Permits voters to be automatically removed from registration rolls without giving any notice or allowing for a waiting period for those purged to respond, and it could all be a mistake.”
In short, if your name comes up once, you’re not allowed to vote. At all. Period.
Indiana has become one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, allowing the Republicans to control its House, Senate and governorship. This study shows just how the map has been redrawn to favor them. Although bills have been proposed to end the practice within the state, they have yet to make a dent in the Indiana State Senate.
The state voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by less than 1%, making him the first Democrat to win there since Lyndon Johnson, but by 2012, it had turned Republican again, favoring Mitt Romney by more than 10 points. By 2016, Governor Pence was ordering the police to raid voter registration outlets. Currently, its Secretary of State, Connie Lawson, has been suppressing early voting in Democratic-leaning counties and expanding it in Republican ones. In response to a lawsuit being filed against her by Common Cause Indiana, the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP, and the local NAACP branch, she has dismissed the idea that early voting makes a difference.
Currently, the Indiana House is preparing to debate a bill allowing for automatic voter registration. If there are any Hoosiers reading this, call your local representatives in state and tell them to fight for this. The Trump Administration wants an America where it’s harder to vote them and their fellow Republicans out of office, and don’t let them convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. At a time like this, we must protect the sanctity of our voting rights more than ever.
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Jeremy Fassler is a writer and journalist living in Brooklyn, New York.